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Times The Fast And Furious Franchise Outraged Fans

The Fast & Furious movies exude endless positivity. While an outsider might not believe a movie built around mangled metal and ever-more ridiculous stunts could be a source of optimism, the thread through the increasingly twisty continuity of the movies is the love the characters have for each other and their zen-like ability to shrug off street battles with helicopters.

Even after fighting global cadres of terrorists, destroying half of Rio de Janiero and taking on a nuclear submarine, the single most important aspect of the Fast saga is the Toretto gang's concept of family. Dom, Tej, Mia, and the rest would never go off the rails about petty details.

Off the screen, however, things are different. The nearly two decades of Fast movies have provided plenty of red meat for folks who love to squabble online. Each successive blockbuster has fueled internet fires both wastebasket and warehouse-sized. It's never a bad time to lay out some of the grievances that couldn't be settled over a bucket of Coronas.

The casting of Iggy Azalea

Every Fast & Furious movie is a micro time capsule of what was hot in popular culture at the time of its filming. The original film was in the dead center of a time when light wash jeans, Hollister shirts, and massive aftermarket spoilers were a significant part of the zeitgeist.

The early films were so beholden to trends that they made an entire movie without the original cast just to cash in on the surging popularity of a Japanese racing style. The casting of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was an unquestionably smart decision, but will also serve as a glimpse of a time when the wrestler-turned-actor was at the peak of his powers.

Other casting decisions didn't receive the same sort of love as Johnson's. Fans absolutely lost it when they realized that Iggy Azalea played a small part in Furious 7 and they took to the internet to vent their spleens. Though the part was inconsequential, some people admitted it made them properly angry.

"Furious 7 was a good movie until Iggy Azalea showed up and ruined it," wrote one Twitter user.

Ice Cube's gaffe

Coordinated attacks by passionate fanbases have become an everyday part of the internet. But back in 2014, there were still a few celebrities who hadn't felt the wrath of a misstep blown out of proportion on social media. Ice Cube learned the hard way that speaking out against Fast & Furious movies could bring an army of angry moviegoers into your mentions.

After the MTV Movie Awards in 2014, Cube reportedly felt that he had been robbed of a win in the category of Best Onscreen Duo. Cube had starred along Kevin Hart in the buddy-cop movie Ride Along, but the pair lost to Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in the wake of the latter's death.

"We had the best chemistry of everybody nominated, for us not to win was crazy," he said at the time. "We were the best onscreen duo, period."

An intense reaction forced a retraction of sorts from the rapper/actor.

"Re: The MTV Awards. I wasn't really mad we didn't win," Ice wrote on Twitter. "So I would never diss the actors who won."

Making an entire city angry

Glasgow is a working-class city, full of the exact kind of folks that would delight in the Fast gang's constant heists from greedy companies. However, being a worker means having to get up in the morning, and the shooting of Fast 6 made that more than a little difficult.

According to reports from the Daily Record, locals were furious about two weeks of nighttime filming that included loud, car-based stunts, explosions and gunfire. The took umbrage at the fact that they had not been warned of the night shoots until right before they began.

"The first I knew about this was when I saw this letter in the stairwell of the building," said an anonymous local. "I didn't hear about any consultation with residents or I would have complained. The last thing I want to hear when I'm trying to sleep is gunfire and explosions."

Glasgow's Film Office painted a different picture, saying that the film crew behind the movie had given residents ample warning.

A hoax

Some of the Fast fans' squabbles with outsiders have been minor, others not so much. Fans were rightfully upset when a few crass clout-chasers began circulating the idea that Paul Walker's death in a fiery car crash was a hoax to drum up publicity for the seventh Fast film.

One website claimed that Walker's death was coordinated by the production. Given that the Fast crew undoubtedly has experience creating fake, fiery car crashes, the story got traction. But for nearly every click the website raked in, they got an angry reaction from a fan on Twitter.

"I am so sick of seeing these stupid hoax things that Paul Walker is really alive," wrote one user. "I wish he was still here but these sites need to quit lying."

The filming of Fast 7 was halted after Paul Walker's death until Walker's two brothers agreed to act as stand-ins and help finish their sibling's final movie. The movie ended with an emotional sendoff for Walker's Brian O'Conner that doubled as a way for the cast to grieve the loss of their friend.

The existence of F8

While most franchise fans would be ecstatic at the idea of a new film, a number of people in the Fast fanbase thought it was crass when the franchise opted to continue after the death of a core cast member. Given the focus on family, quite a few series stans freaked when the Fate of the Furious was announced. Continuing the series without Paul Walker didn't sit right with people who had followed the franchise from small-scale drag racing caper to international gang of car-driving superheroes.

"I am so angry that they are making a Fast and Furious 8," one fan wrote. "I refuse to see it."

Others worried that continuing the franchise would cheapen the ending of Fast 7. They argued that the heartfelt ending of Paul Walker's last movie made a perfect finale for the entire series.

"If they bring out a Fast and Furious 8 I just think they've taken it too far because 7 ended so well," wrote one viewer.

Vin Diesel's heel turn

Fate of the Furious gave fans more reasons to be angry than Paul Walker's absence. The plot of of the eighth installment in the series pitted Dominic Toretto against his surrogate family. The movies all stress the importance of created families and friendly bonds, and Toretto has put his life on the line countless times to save his crew. Dom turning his back on that, even threatening to kill his close friends, sparked a furor when the first trailer for the film was released.

"Why in the world would Dom do his family like that?" asked one characteristic Twitter user.

On Reddit, the fan community lashed out at the trailer, with one fan saying "Han didn't die" for Dominic to turn like that. (How right they were without even knowing it.)

Of course, it was revealed that Dom only turned on his family on the surface. He was acting on behalf of Cipher in order to save his family members.

The auctioning of Paul Walker's sunglasses

People are rightfully upset when someone tries to profit off of the death of a person. It's viewed as gross and cynical, particularly by people who were invested in that late figure's work. And it doesn't come much more crass than trying to sell fake artifacts from the moment of an actor's death.

That's exactly what one profiteer tried to do in the wake of Walker's tragic death in a fiery car crash in California. They claimed to be selling the sunglasses that the actor was wearing at the time of his death, something that seems unlikely given the manner in which Walker and his friend died. Though the poster gave the story of finding the glasses at the scene of the crash, and was also offering a fire extinguisher used to douse the flames for that extra dash of disgusting, the connection to Walker was flimsy at best.

The auction was eventually pulled by the website where it was posted, following outrage from fans and other internet users.

Justin Bieber joining the franchise?

The death hoax rumors weren't the only lies swirling around the internet after Paul Walker's passing. Blogs began to chirp about the possibility of a pop star replacing Walker, one who inspired revulsion at the time on his own.

This rumor started with an offhand comment from series star Ludacris. The rapper shared that Justin Bieber could join the cast of Fast & Furious, which fans took to mean that he would replace Walker.

"He's probably ready to shoot, I guarantee you. He's going to get off tour soon and I think he's gonna love this movie so much he's gonna try to get in here," Ludacris said. "And he's old enough to drive so we're good."

The fan reaction was swift and angry, with each social media user going out of their way to have a more intense take than the last poster. "Rather eat broken glass than see Justin Bieber in fast and furious!" wrote one Twitter user.

Paul Walker used to sell cologne

File this one under deeply weird. Fast & Furious franchise followers are more than a little touchy about the memory of Paul Walker, but their outrage was justified when they found out his face was being used to sell cologne after he passed away. Walker was the spokesperson for Davidoff cologne prior to his death and an ad starring him caught fans off guard. 

Being fair to Davidoff, the company made the television ads with Walker. They just had the misfortune of premiering the spots from their spokesperson shortly after he died. The ads barely played, but when they did they had the entire audience of a Chelsea football match watching. 

"Just saw the #davidoff advert with Paul Walker in it. This is such bad taste! What were they thinking? RIP Paul Walker," wrote one Twitter user in a typical response.

The company quickly pulled the ads before the outrage over a dead man selling cologne could spread.

No justice for Han?

Han didn't need to be avenged, but fans couldn't have known that. Since Tokyo Drift, we've been operating under the assumption that the fan favorite character died in a crash during a street race.

Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw was brought into the series by killing Han to avenge his crime boss brother. When Statham was eventually incorporated into the Toretto gang and given his own spinoff, fans fumed and created the hashtag #JusticeForHan to explain why they thought the series had gone off the rails.

Talking to Slashfilm, critic David Ehrlich explained why he thought the complete casting aside of Han's death by the series' protagonist's pointed toward a deeper rot.

"It's not that I think Han is an immortal cinematic icon," said Ehrlich. "But that dismissing the character's history and the weight that it was supposed to hold in this franchise is emblematic of a movie that completely fails to grasp the soul of its series."

Not just the fans

With the Fast universe continuing to expand, some of the sniping over the films is coming from inside the franchise.

Tyrese Gibson tore into the production of Hobbs & Shaw, the first movie outside of the franchise's main timeline, saying that the film was not worth splitting from the official series. 

"I have to show my respects for one thing.... He tried........ Folks called me a hater.... Attacked me for speaking out.....Breaking up the family clearly doesn't have the value that one would assume it does," Gibson wrote on Instagram while tearing down the spinoff's box office numbers. "You know what maybe just maybe... The Rock and the crew will come dance with us again for #Fast10 we can all hug it out and get back to giving the true fans who have supported this franchise for 20 years WHAT they want........No hating I'm just pointing out the facts."

The Rock, Jason Statham, and Vin Diesel have all feuded with each other as the series has progressed, and it's unlikely that their current peace will last forever.